Cooking Heavy

Anyone with a cooking passion longs for more time to cook; time to delve deeper into recipes and ingredients; time to actually watch yeast work. When we decided to spend a few weeks in our friend’s house in West Virginia, I had two thoughts: my skiing will improve and unlimited kitchen time.

My recent cooking tick list starts with cheese straws for the Jack Frost party. They turned out well first time.  First time success is not a given for me. Considering the amount of cheese and butter that go into the straws they will be special occasion only. Next I improved my bean cooking. I know this should be simple but for me a good pot of beans has always been a mystery. Then I moved along to bread baking. I started with my faithful Moosewood Basic Bread recipe before venturing into french bread. Big props to bro-n-law Kevin and his cookbook. Kevin edited all his grandma’s recipes into a monster volume of southern delight. The cheese straws and french bread recipes came from it. After accidently making too much french bread dough I stored the extra in the fridge and later used it to make a super sized calzone and garlic knots.

My latest food victory is the biscuit. I love biscuits but have seldom made them myself. After going through a few recipes I turned out a fine pan of biscuits this morning. And I proved yet again when a recipe calls for shortening you can replace it with butter. Butter makes everything all right.

Since one can not or should not live by bread alone, I’ve enjoyed this slower pace to make many of my old favorites such as veggie chili, cookies, pasta dishes and more.  Soon it will be time to stop this constant feast and resume our travels but this kitchen time has been a fine time.

A snowy walk home from the Shop & Save!

A snowy walk home from the Shop & Save!

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3 thoughts on “Cooking Heavy

  1. Can we stop by for dinner?
    Now you just have to figure out how to get that oven in the van! In a few weeks you should start working on your own recipe book for gourmet van/camp cooking.
    I love the idea of unlimited kitchen time and really paying attention to what you’re cooking. Maybe I should spend a winter in Davis.

  2. Jill I am so glad someone other than myself as yet to master the art of cooking a good pot of beans. My excuse is that, although raised in KY, I was raised by parents from NY & PA. I don’t think I ever had soup beans until I was an adult. I love them! But my attempts have yet to yield a result anywhere near the quality that I find in the many restaurants in the small towns I visit often with KET. It is always the first thing I look for on the menu, soup beans and corn bread. Always cheap, always good. I have been told I don’t cook them long enough. Apparently success is achieved by starting your pot at the crack of dawn and the beans will be ready sometime in the next day or so. I will keep trying though 😉 Good luck with yours.

    • Regarding beans of all kinds one key is how you flavor them, especially after they are cooked or mostly cooked. Those hillbilly gals are probably cooking soup beans with some sort of meat for flavor. I still struggle with cooking times. The Moosewood cookbooks usually spend some time on beans.

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